Study: ‘Barriers’ To Public Employee Pension Reform Unfounded

By Manny Lopez, Michigan Capitol Confidential

Unfunded liabilities tied to public employee pension plans are bankrupting communities and school districts and are doing so without much attention from state officials, says Michael J. Hicks, director of the Bureau of Business Research at Ball State University, and an adjunct scholar with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Politicians don’t address the issue because the effects of the promises they or their predecessors made come long after they leave office. But it is urgent that the unfunded liabilities of state pension funds be addressed immediately, Hicks said at a March 7 speech in Lansing sponsored by the Mackinac Center.

His concerns are echoed by the Mackinac Center’s Assistant Fiscal Policy Analyst James M. Hohman, who said in a study released Monday that there are numerous ways to address the barriers to pension reform.

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